Jim would like to share the following. There are some interesting statistics in their included link to the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

From Jim:
We spend so much time worrying about the physical health of our senior loved ones that we end up neglecting a key element affecting their overall well being–their mental health.

The CDC notes that 20 percent of people 55 and older experience “some type of mental health concern,” but mental health issues are widely “untreated or under-treated” among seniors. It saddens me to think that our seniors so often feel lonely and forgotten. http://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/mental_health.pdf

My wife and I created ElderAction http://elderaction.org/ after we began noticing the decline in mental health of our ailing parents. We’ve worked hard to help our parents be as happy and fulfilled as possible, and we’re hoping to provide other seniors and their loved ones with the support they need to make the most of their golden years.

I’d love to provide tips and advice on how we can help improve the mental health of the nation’s seniors in an article for santafesobblog.com. I’ll include resources and research so that seniors, loved ones, and caretakers will be better prepared to offer seniors the mental health support they need.

If this offer interests you, please let me know.

Sincerely, Jim Vogel – jim@elderaction.org

I took the liberty of adding a brief search on aging and exercise studies. Steve

“We do not yet know for sure what the causal relationship between physical activity and depression is like. What is clear is that elderly people who are physically active are less depressed, but higher levels of depression can also lead to less exercise, and this suggests there is a mutual influence,” Dr. Magnus Lindwall, associate professor in exercise and health psychology at the University of Gothenburg. http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/11/02/reduce-risk-of-senior-depression-with-exercise/30983.html

Exercise Compared to Antidepressants: Blumenthal and colleagues carried out a randomized controlled trial to establish the effectiveness on depression of an aerobic exercise program (3 supervised exercise sessions per week, in a group-setting) compared to sertraline (50-200 mg) or combined treatment (exercise plus sertraline) on a sample of 156 depressed volunteers aged 50 years (mean age 57 years). After 16 weeks of treatment, all groups exhibited statistically and clinically significant reductions… Patients receiving medication alone and mildly depressed patients receiving combined treatment exhibited the fastest initial response; however, at the end of treatment, exercise was equally effective in reducing depression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758953/

Number One Anti-Aging Medicine “If exercise could be put in a pill it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine,” Dr. Robert N. Butler, President of the International Longevity Center, at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. “It’s also cheap, and it avoids problems such as the side-effects of medication.” http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Depression/story?id=117946&page=1

The following article in The American Journal of Epidemiology http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/156/4/328.full concludes with an extended list, that can be accessed on line, of other aging and exercise articles similar to the following five.

The reciprocal relationship between physical activity and depression in older European adults
Evid. Based Nurs. (2012) 15 (4): 125

Exercise and social support are associated with psychological distress outcomes in a population of community-dwelling older adults
J Health Psychol (2012) 17 (6): 833-844

Physical activity among older people and related factors
Health Education Journal (2012) 71 (2): 144-153

Don’t Worry, be Active: Positive Affect and Habitual Physical Activity
Aust N Z J Psychiatry (2011) 45 (12): 1047-1052

The Association Between Midlife Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms in Late Life: Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility–Reykjavik Study
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2015) 0 (2015): glv196v1-glv196

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